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Introduction (from Avernum Website)Map of Avernum

You have been banished to the underworld, never to see the light of day again. You have been cast down into the dark, volcanic pits of Avernum, filled with foul monsters, constant warfare, and thousands and thousands of your fellow prisoners. This is your punishment for not fitting in, for speaking out against the powers that be, for being an inconvenience to the government of the cruel Emperor Hawthorne. You have been sentenced to life imprisonment in the caverns, eventually to die there, forgotten and unmourned.

But you need not accept your fate. There are those who wish to struggle against this injustice, who wish to return to the surface world and to fight against tyranny. But first, they need a hero, they need inspiration, and, most of all, they need someone who can find an escape route. Can you help them?

Will you be the first person to escape from Avernum?

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Before you can start playing, you must create a party. I always use custom built characters with the standard setup of two warriors (one principally mêlée the other with pole weapon skill), a wizard (with a few priest spells) and a priest who has a few mage spells. It is useful to have an archer. I prefer to have mine at the back (priest or wizard). One character needs tool use and one should later be trained up in potions. Further notes on character traits and NPCs (Non Playing Characters).

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There are three game-winning Great Quests:

  1. Defeat the demon lord, Grah-Hoth.
  2. Find the exit to the surface world.
  3. Get revenge upon the Empire.

In addition there are four Major Quests:

  1. Slay the demon Adze-Haakai, in the Tower of Magi.
  2. Reassemble the blade Demonslayer.
  3. Find a boat to the northern isles and enter Erika's Tower.
  4. Recover the Orb of Thralni.

Before you can undertake these missions, you must first strengthen your party by adventuring and completing some of the many side quests. Only when your party is relatively strong, can the major tasks be attempted.

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One disadvantage of Avernum 1 is that there is no Info-Catagory "Current Quests" as in Avernum 2 and 3, which lists all uncompleted quests. It is therfore a good idea, when you are given a quest, to make a note of it (who gave it to you and in which town he/she lives). A relatively simple way of doing this is to record the dialogue in your Journal/Notes which can be read with the Read Journal Read button. When the task is completed, the record can be deleted. In the course of the game you will also need boats. There are three seperate waters you can/must sail on, so you will need at least three boats. It is a very good idea to keep a note of where you have left them. In this case the Journal cannot be used.

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Unfortunately there is an annoying bug in the navigation in the Windows version of this game. Clicking the left mouse button often causes your party (or single character in combat mode) to move two spaces instead of one. It does not make any difference how you adjust the mouse settings, or alter the game settings: you keep on ending up in places (like lava streams) you did not want to be. An alternative is to navigate with the number pad, but this is not exactly easy as the interpretation of the key movements in this game is rather unconventional.

There is however a workaround: use the right mouse button! This does not do what you would expect on Windows (give you further options,) but moves you exactly one space in the given direction.

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In every friendly town you will find tradespeople who will sell you their goods, mages or priests who will teach you spells or other people like sages, healers or innkeepers who will offer you a range of services. I have compiled a list of all these people and places under the heading "Shops and other Stuff in Avernum".

When you have cleared out a hostile dungeon you will want to turn your hard won loot into cash. Many shopkeepes will offer you a price between 25% and 60% of the face value depending on your reputation and bartering skill. There is however another rather curious way of turning loot into hard cash in Avernum 1. If you ask to buy healing from a healer he/she will pay 60% of the face value of everything on your inventory, independent of your bartering skill or reputation.

Although there are no Unlimited Item Resellers as in A3, it is possible to increase the number of arrows or bolts in your possession: if you sell a single arrow to a shopkeeper he or she will offer a whole batch (6 or 10) for resale. It is only worth using this trick for really valuable and rare items like Arrows of Light.

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There are three sorts of skills:

  1. normal skills like Endurance or Cave Lore which can always be trained;
  2. trainable special skills like Gymnastics or Blademaster, which can be trained only if you already have the skill;
  3. untrainable special skills like Magery or Resistance that must be obtained by other means.

Some skills can be bought (see Special Skills), some can be learned from Mind Crystals while others can be obtained through special encounters. There are also abilities like Go Beserk or Lay on Hands which can only be obtained from Mind Crystals or through special encounters.

Since skills can only be bought upto level 5, you should (as far as possible) buy the first 5 levels before using a mind crystal or setting off the special encounter. If for instance you decide that it is really worth while reading the tome in the Crypt of Drath which gives 2 points Magery but takes one point Intelligence, you should only do so afer having bought 5 levels of Magery from Khoth. The same goes for Mind Crystals: do not use them until you have bought five levels (if possible). It goes without saying that you should not waste mind crystals on party members that you intend to replace with NPCs

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There is no shortage of cash in this game. Right from the start you can pick up enough loot to sell. The only problem is that you cannot have more than 9,000 coins. If you sell something when you already have the maximum the item disappears of your inventory, but you are no richer. You will therefore want to store surplace items, which you cannot yet sell or which, like mind crystals, you do not yet want to use. The only official storage area in this game is in the south of The Castle. You can however leave stuff in any town and pick it up later. I have never noticed that anything I have dropped in a town has disappered. I have however often been surprised on finding something I deposited ages ago. If you store items do not use too many different places and always make a note of what you have stored and where.

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When creating a party I always use custom built characters. The predefined characters are naturally quicker but defining your characters yourself is much more flexible. Each custom built character starts with Endurance 3, Strength and Dexterity 2, Intelligence, Mêlée Weapons, Pole Weapons, Bows, Thrown Missiles and Tool Use 1 and 65 Skill Points you can distribute.

The most important skills for Warriors are Strength, Dexterity, Endurance and one weapon skill. Every character with spell casting ability starts knowing all spells at level one, which can be cast with the ability he has. When you increase a character's spellcasting ability by training, he will have to buy the spell. So it is a good idea to start your spell casters with as much of the appropriate ability as possible. A mage should have at least Mage Spells 5 and therefore knows spells 1 (Bolt of Fire) upto 7 (Ice Lances) and a priest should have Priest Spells 5 (Spells 1 –7 = Safe Travel) or 6 (Spells 1 –11 = Mass Curing). Mass Curing is not particularly useful but Mass Healing, which also comes with Priest Spell Ability 6 is useful.

You can neglect Cave Lore to start with, because it can be bought in Fort Draco. Intelligence is important for spell casters (and also useful for warriors since it increases resistance to mind clouding spells and contributes to the secondary skill Item Lore). I however tend to concentrate on spell casting abilities and leave Intelligence to be trained later. This has the advantage that my spell casters start off knowing lots of spells and still have a lot of Spell Points = 4*(Intelligence + Mage + Priest).

Luck is a very important "Skill" because it affects many secodnary skills and also contributes to random encounters. I however usually train in this skill later. The same goes for Hardiness, Defence, Assasination, Potion Making and Arcane Lore. First Aid appears to me to be utterly useless. If you intend to pick up NPCs you can also forget Tool Use to start with: Jay has 4 which is enough at the beginning and Andrew has level 16, which is enough for almost everything.

I usually ignore Character Traits except for the combination Natural Mage and Brittle Bones for my spell casters. This combination has the advantage that they can cast Mage Spells while wearing armour. Brittle Bones is not so very disadvantageous if you keep the spell casters out of the way of direct attacks and has the merit (+30) of more than cancelling out the xp-penalty for Natural Mage (-25) giving you a bonus of 5XP.

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There are four NPCs in this game who will join you. You should however pick them up as soon as possible. Each comes with a particular level, 5 Skill Points and zero xp, which means that they have to fight a lot before they can move up a level and can be trained. In fact in games in which I have picked up Sabrina and Mona (Theresa) I have found that they are extremely powerful (and still trainable) at level 31 while the other two characters have already topped out at level 40.

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Jay is sitting in the inn in Silvar. He will join you for a payment of 100 coins. He is a good addition to a level 1 party because he is a relatively good fighter level 3. He is very good with bows and thrown missiles, which I seldom use with a front line fighter, but he is good with mêlée weapons and has "find herbs 1".

General
Strength  6
Dexterity  8
Intelligence  3
Endurance  7
Weaponary Skills
Mêlée Weapons  8
Pole Weapons  4
Bows  12
Thrown Missiles  10
Hardiness  3
Defence  3
Assasination  0
Magical Skills
Mage Spells  0
Priest Spells  0
Arcane Lore  1
Potion Making  0
Useful Skills
Tool Use  4
Cave Lore  4
First Aid  3
Luck  0
Special Skills
Barter  2
Find Herbs  1

 

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Andrew works in the shipyard and will join you if you have sufficient reputation (min. 15). He is a good fighter, has a high tool use and the untrainable skill "resistance 1". His full statistics:

General
Strength  7
Dexterity  7
Intelligence  1
Endurance  8
Weaponary Skills
Mêlée Weapons  8
Pole Weapons  9
Bows  3
Thrown Missiles  8
Hardiness  3
Defence  3
Assasination  2
Magical Skills
Mage Spells  0
Priest Spells  0
Arcane Lore  0
Potion Making  0
Useful Skills
Tool Use  16
Cave Lore  6
First Aid  2
Luck  2
Special Skills
Barter  1
Pathfinder  3
Resistance  1

 

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She will only join you when you have killed the Chasm Drake that is to the west of Fort Remote. She is a Natual Mage (-25xp penalty), so she could be trained up as a mage, wear armour and fight. She is level 20 and knows the first 14 priest spells at level 2. By the time your party is strong enough to kill the Drake your priest is probably better than her. You can judge from her statistics:

General
Strength  10
Dexterity  7
Intelligence  10
Endurance  9
Weaponary Skills
Mêlée Weapons  13
Pole Weapons  5
Bows  3
Thrown Missiles  3
Hardiness  5
Defence  5
Assasination  0
Magical Skills
Mage Spells  0
Priest Spells  18
Arcane Lore  16
Potion Making  8
Useful Skills
Tool Use  3
Cave Lore  5
First Aid  13
Luck  2
Special Skills
Find Herbs  3
Gymnastics  3
Pathfinder  6
Magery  4

 

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She will join you if you have joined the Scimitar. She is a really tough fighter but low on tool use. She is level 30 and is an Elite Warrior (-30xp penalty) with the ability Go Beserk. When she joins you her name changes to Theresa. Her statistics:

General
Strength  11
Dexterity  11
Intelligence  3
Endurance  10
Weaponary Skills
Mêlée Weapons  23
Pole Weapons  16
Bows  13
Thrown Missiles  6
Hardiness  7
Defence  7
Assasination  8
Magical Skills
Mage Spells  0
Priest Spells  0
Arcane Lore  1
Potion Making  0
Useful Skills
Tool Use  5
Cave Lore  6
First Aid  6
Luck  2
Special Skills
Blademaster  6
Anatomy  8

 

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You start off just after being teleported to Fort Avernum. Andrew is standing at the bottom of the hill to greet you. He will tell you to see Tor and Thairl who have offices south of the Portal. Speak to them and explore a bit. Outside the walls in the SE corner are two cave rats which you can kill. Then pick up a pair of boots nearby. In the NW corner is a corpse with a wooden shield and another pair of boots. Look around the town talking to everyone who will talk to you. Warrick, who is sitting at the table in the dining hall, will give you the quest to find Anastasia. (She runs the armoury in Silvar.) Also pick up everything, that might be useful or can be sold. If something is marked as "not yours" do not worry: you can take it so long as no one is watching.

Stealing is not a crime in Avernum as long as you do not get caught. Before taking anything that does not belong to you, close the doors and check that nobody is in the vicinity by clicking on the "speak" Read button. If there are guards in a room where you find a crate or barrel with goodies in it, just push it into another room and close the door.

You should explore the area around Fort Avernum, visiting the friendly towns to pick up some missions and then investigate the Brigand Fort. Having picked up your reward from Captain Johnson you can explore the area to the north.

I have decided to forgo writing a full Walkthrough. Instead I have compiled a few notes on the strategy I used in one walkthrough. There are many seperate strands in this game and it is up to you in which order you complete them.

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After talking to everybody in Fort Avernum and picking up everything in the town and around the walls, which could be useful or turned into hard cash, I head for Silvar. Here I can find Anastasia and also pick up a new party member Jay. After talking to everyone here and I went to Cotra where I talked to everybody and got the quest from Mayor Steele to free the soldiers captured by Nepharim. Then to Fort Duvno where Carol will buy excess equipment. Now off to explore the area to the north.

There is a group of Goblins camping east of Duvno. They are not very strong but do not have much loot. The Brigand fort is also not very difficult. In this case it is probably better to go straight in through the main gate, killing all bandits around the living quarters. Then dispatch the Mage, pick up some loot and back to Fort Duvno for the reward.

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If you go carefully (saving often) you should be able to rid the area of bandits and other wandering monsters like the lone Slith in the northeast and also clear out most of the Bat Cave and the Goblin Caves. After these the party should be strong enough to attempt freeing the prisoners in the Underground Nephilim Fort. Then off to the towns to collect the rewards. Now the party should have a high enough reputation (min. 15) to pick Andrew up.

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At this point I have a party with two fairly strong warriors, a mage who can cast Ice Lances and a priest with Healing or even Mass Healing. Now I can explore most of the known lands in Avernum.

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The first stop is Formello. There is a lot of information and learning to be picked up here. Miles can train mages. Claudette is very expensive for priest spells but she must be used until you can get to the Tower of Magi. The next quest is to find Mayor Evelyn's golden necklace in the Nephilim Fortress.

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After clearing out the Nephilim Fort I visit Motrax, pick up the Stone Key and find the hot springs for Gary. Since the 1st of Radiane is long past and the 1st of Empire is still a long way off I cannot get into the Ancient Crypt just yet. The Emerald Mines nearby are however possible. Now I can admire Avernum's biggest anvil in Fort Draco, where I can buy upto level 5 Cave Lore at least for the party members I do not intend to replace, and then back to Duvno and Silvar.

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The next goal is the Tower of Magi. I do not usually bother to visit Mertis yet, although if I have some Energetic Herbs on my inventory, I could pick up an Invunlnerability Potion and 10xp from Ether. Between Mertis and the Tower of Magi there are often wandering groups of ogres which can be a bit tough. In the Tower it is important to talk to everyboby including Abrim, X, Throndell and Kelner. They have important information, give quests and (except for Kelner) can teach spells.

Except for wandering ogres on the first part near the tower, there is seldom any problem on the road to Almaria where I can pick up useful information and some quests. Then into the Great Cave where I can visit the Castle, Gnass, Fort Saffron, Blosk and the other towns, but I leave Silverlocke's Knowledge Brews until later.

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What you do now depends on your strategy. You could complete all the missions which you have now picked up: clear out the Slith Fortification, complete the quests for Rosie and Mairwen in Fort Dranlon, deal with Araneae to the north and the Sliths on the lakes then fight the giants before starting on the Major Quests.

I however try to pick up Sabrina in Blosk and Mona (Theresa) in Fort Saffron. In order to do this as early as possible I have to join the Scimitar and kill the Pit Darake a soon as possible. These two tasks are however not exactly easy for a relatively low level party. The trick is to combine these two tasks with a few other minor quests like the Slith Fortification north of Fort Emerald or the Slith Island Fort for Rosie in Fort Dranlon. By the way, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the date: on the first of the month the door to the Ancient Crypt is open.

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Fort Remote is a sleepy little town which should be approached from the north along the west wall of the Great Cave, in order to avoid the gremlins lurking around the SW of this cave. Here I get the mission from Captain Bronwen to kill some fire lizards to the west. I then go west but often find the fire lizards a bit too tough. So I sneek south and east to the remote cave guarded by some araneae and spiders. They are also a bit tough (save often in this area), but after killing them I can learn Dispel Barriers L2.

Even if I manage the fire lizards, I usually cannot attempt the Pit Drake just yet. So I collect my reward from Captain Bronwen and start on the road to the Scimitar. Later, when my party is stronger, I deal with the Pit Drake and pick up Sabrina in Blosk. As soon as she is in the party I buy as many Knowledge Brews as I can from Silverlocke, so that I can train her up in mage spells. (There is also a Knowledge Brew guarded by some Drakes southwest of Fort Remote.

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By this time I have picked up enough information in Dharmon and Blosk and elswhere about the Scimitar. In particular Royce in Blosk has suggested asking Calder in Bargha about them.

Although Dexter in Almaria is a bit of a rouge, I always complete his first two missions (get a ring from Blosk and deliver a dubious package to Meena in Spire). Since this packet cannot be taken through Fort Spire, I must go via Fort Emerald to the Abyss. If I have not already done so I now take the opportunity of clearing out the Slith Fortification. In Spire I do not bother to do much more than deliver the package. Scab can wait till later and the others do not bring much. The maraudering highwaymen in the Abyss are best avoided if possible, but they should always be paid (10 coins) otherwise it costs 50 coins to enter Spire.

After Spire I visit Bargha. The important people here are Calder who tells how to reach Cleese, Cynthia who runs the library (for X's quest) and Prynne who as healer is the only person to whom excess equipment can be sold. If I am short of money, I go east and kill off a few giants. They can however be a bit tough at this stage, but they drop lots of coins and silver bars.

I now return to the Great Cave, train party members (e.g. in Almaria) then go to the Tower of Magi to top up my spells. Having got Dispel Barriers I can now reach the tome which teaches Haste L3. For the upcoming fights Lightning Spray L2 is good and at least two spell casters should have Unshackle Mind L2 for the gremlins. Now I should be up to tackling the Pit Drake and/or the Gremlin Cave. Having destroyed the Empire Orb I can go back to Bargha (this time via Fort Saffron and Fort Spire) and join the Scimitar. Now back to Saffron to pick Theresa up.

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At this stage I have quite a strong party: Theresa (replaced Jay), a very powerful warrior, Anderew who has weapon skills (principally Pole), Priest Spells 6 (Repel Spirit and Unshackle Mind L2) and tool use at least 16, Sabrina with Priest Spells 18 and my original mage with Mage Spells around 13 and Priest Spells 6. Now is the time to consolidate the statistics.

Bow Skill can be bought from J.R. in Fort Duvno if reputation is high enough (min. 25), Cave Lore in Fort Draco and Gymnastics in Fort Emerald. Since I found out about the healers, I do not bother about Barter. The special skills Blademaster, Anatomy and Magery will have to wait till later.

I now concentrate on the Major Quests (particularly the Orb and the Demonslayer) completing side quests like Greymould Salve for Hathwisa, Herbs for Ether, the Ogre Cave for Ambrin, the Slith Island Fort for Rosie and the quest for the Spiders on the way. I also need to keep an eye on the date. Even if I have already cleared the Ancient Crypt out, I must revisit it to get Mass Healing L3 for Sabrina.

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The Orb of Thralni is actually fairly easy. The only prerequisites are a boat, which can be bought in Cotra, and a crystal shield or charm for the warriors. I usually have already found these in loot by this time, but if I have not, crystal shields can be bought at Dharmon Armor and a crystal charm from Sue in Fort Draco. The route through the Waterfall Warren to the Stagnant Caverns is marked on the map.

After getting the Orb I like to visit Erika and clear out the Erika/Bandits area. I also like to pick up the Alien Blade, which is a good alternative to the Demonslayer when not fighting demons.

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The Demonslayer is a bit more difficult. This wonderful sword has been broken into three pieces, which have been scattered across Avernum. The first piece, which I normally already have by this time, is in the crypt in the Underground Nephilim Fort. The second piece is on the Altar on the first floor of the Slith Temple and the last piece is in the Crypt of Drath. The Stone Key is needed to get the last piece. Although not strictly necessary, I like to visit Solberg and explore the river in NW Avernum before completing this quest.

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Now it is time to find the key to the giant's gate in the Giant Castle and visit Aydin and Aimee on the Northern Islands, after which Erika will divulge the password for the talking statues around Avernum. None of them actually tells you anything you did not already know. The stautue in Almaria, however, teaches Unlock Doors L3, which is a boon.

While on the Northern Waters I also visit the Lair of Khoth where I can train in Magery, learn a L3 spell and complete Claudette's quest.

By this time I have a pretty potent party. There is no very good reason for doing the remaining tasks in any particular order. In fact I usually combine a number of quests. I will however describe them seperately, as if the were to be completed sequentually.

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Here is a quick run through of the steps needed to kill Adze-Haakai and get the Onyx Sceptre: read the tome on the NW of the Tower of Magi, speak to Kelner to learn how to find the password to Solberg's Tower, visit him and get the Crystal Key; then back to the Tower of Magi and through the maze in the restricted area to reach the demon, kill him and get the sceptre. Now X will train in Anatomy and Solberg Mage Spells.

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Now is the time to finish off all uncompleted side quests and check the known lands for missed quests. Lost Bahssikava yields a pair of Boots of Speed, which are very useful. In fact the whole of the Spiders/Formello area including the Aranea City, Aranea Cave and the Eastern Province can be cleared. It is also a good idea to check the Magi/Honeycomb area and the Great Cave for missed treasure and quests, although I usually leave the Shattered Fort until later.

At this stage I rid Avernum of all remaining warlike Slithzerikai on the Lakes. After killing Sss-Thsss Skatha in Gnass will teach Blademaster and King Micah in The Castle will give a reward. As soon as Micah gets the Slith Chief's torc, Grah-Hoth attacks and destroys Fort Remote. So I always wait until I am sure that I have completed the quest for Captain Bronwen and have picked up all I want in Fort Remote before setting of this chain reaction by telling the king that I have killed Sss-Thsss.

There are also a number of other side quests which can be completed while making preparations for the Great Quests. I make sure that I have cleared out the caves to the north of Erika, explore Spire (talk to Scab and kill the Brigands), explore the Abyss (not forgetting Zavlek) and Bargha, where there are some side quests and a bit of treasure. Then I make sure I have cleaed out the Giant Lands (rob Pyrog, recover Khoth's scroll etc.).

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By this time I have a pretty awsome party: Andrew and my original mage have already topped out at level 40 and Theresa and Sabrina are very potent at around level 30. Most of the preparations for the Great Quests have already been completed. It is now just a case of fighting my way through to the three Ends. The order in which I complete these quests is dictated by the reward, which (apart from coins and experience points which are rather useless at this stage) is in each case two L3 spells: Arcane Summons and Divine Warrior (Grah-Hoth), Arcane Shield and Divine Restoration (Exit to Surface), Arcane Blow and Divine Host (Hawthorne). The last two spells are utterly useless, so I leave killing Hawthorne to the end. Arcane Summons is also pretty useless but Divine Warrior is good, particularly if my warriors do not have the abilities Go Beserk and Inner Might. Arcane Shield can to some extent be replaced by Invunerability Elixirs and Divine Restoration by Restoration Brews. So it is a toss up whether I kill Grah-Hoth or find the Exit to the Surface first.

Although all hints necessary for completing the quests are buried in the town descriptions, I will recapitulate the steps required to complete them.

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After getting Royal Clearance from Mayor Evelyn in Formello for recovering her necklace from the Nephilim Fortress, get the mission from King Micah in The Castle to kill Sss-Thsss. After giving Micah the Dark Slith's torc, Fort Remote will be destroyed by Grah-Hoth. Investigate this attack and get the quest to kill Grah-Hoth from King Micah. Pick up the Blessed Athame from the Tower of Magi. Then go to Skarragath and free Grah-Hoth from his prison. By this time you must have the Orb of Thalni and the Demonslayer. Finally go to the Tower of Grah-Hoth, dispose of the demon lord and report back to King Micah to get your reward.

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Join the Scimitar by talking to Royce in Blosk and Calder in Bargha. Get the mission from Cleese to destroy the Empire Orb in the Gremlin Cave. Report back to Cleese and Rogow in Bargha and visit Erika. She will tell you that you need a four part password and give you the first part of it. Then visit Patrick, Aimee and Athron to get the other parts. Now get the Silver Circlet which Meena stole by talking to Scab in Spire and the Onyx Septre from Adze-Haakai. When you have these two artifacts, Sulfras will let you pass her Tower to reach the Final Gauntlet.

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If your reputation is at least 25 Erika will give you the mission to kill Emperor Hawthorne. Visit Aydin in the Hidden Island Tower. To complete this mission you need four of the five brooches scattered around Avernum, a Royal Seal and a chant that Khoth will teach you. The brooches are listed in the description of the library in Erika's Tower. (To get Bertraud to sell you the Platinum Brooch you must first talk to Edlin in Dharmon.) To recover the Royal Seal you must persuade Rone in The Castle to tell you about it and Patrick to tell you how to get the Gold Key in The Castle. Then you can recover the seal from the Shattered Fort. Khoth will only teach you the ritual when you have returned his stolen Scroll. Having the brooches, the Royal Seal and the chant you can sail off to the start of the Path to the Black Spire, the Tower of Barriers and finally Castle Hawthorne.

 
Last update: 10. Jul. 12, Mike Middleton TOP Top
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